Height x width: 1 to 3 feet tall, depending on the species.
Growth habit: Mounding or upright.
Foliage: Basal, long petioles, ovate, cordate-ovate to lanceolate, waxy, 8 inches to 1.5 feet long and variable width, depending on the species. Leaves have prominent veins on each side of the midrib.
Flowers: White to purple, sometimes fragrant, trumpet-shaped, on spikes that rise above the foliage. Hostas are usually grown for their foliage rather than their flowers, and in some cases the flowers are considered unattractive.
Culture: Full to partial shade, organic and well-drained soil. Some hostas can tolerate full sun when they have abundant moisture, but few gardens offer constant moisture in a sunny location.
Pests and problems: Slugs, snails and other chewing insects, deer, and leaf scorch, tattered edges and the fungal disease anthracnose when drought-stressed in high light intensity. High nitrogen fertilization in high temperatures may result in the loss of variegation.
Other facts of interest: Well-known plantsman Allan Armitage calls hostas the emperors of the shade. They brighten up dark areas and are among the few plants that compete well with roots of large shade trees. Hundreds, if not thousands, of cultivars have been developed, so many, in fact, that hostas have been classified according to height and garden use.
Propagation: Division, seed, tissue culture for some cultivars.